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Who has built a "long range" AR15?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by rctimmy, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. rctimmy

    rctimmy Portland, OR Expert Shooter USMC

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    I've built all the 16" AR's I can handle. I want to build something "long range" or "sniper" style in 5.56. I know "long range" is a relative term depending on who you talk to. I just want to build something that can shoot 500-600 yards consistently. Does anyone have experience with barrels longer than 20"?

    What is a suitable Length / Make / Model / Twist / Etc...

    I want it to look something like this:

    1185959_604417512943271_1393992654_n.jpg
     
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  2. Benny503

    Benny503 Grants Pass Well-Known Member

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    I want to built my noveske N6 like the setup you posted. Just cant find noveske barrel 308 with 20" :-(
     
  3. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

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    I didn't build one, but I bought a Stag Model 6. 24" stainless heavy barrel 1 in 8" twist, free floated hand guard, 2 stage competition trigger, hogue grip and forend. It is pretty nice and shoots surprisingly well even with light 40 gr bullets. I am still working up "heavy metal" handloads for long range. I do have some loaded with Nosler 69 gr BTHP's that are showing potential. It wears a Vortex Viper 6.5-20X scope with 30mm tube and Mil-Dot reticle. It should be fun once I find a good 500 yard + range.
     
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  4. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    built up a 24 " ar years ago 1/9 twist shot pretty well everything in it, from light to heavy bullets. pretty accurate, not as good as a bolt gun, but good.
     
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  5. Ben Beckerich

    Ben Beckerich NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I built an "SPR" that wasn't much of an SPR... but it was a good shootin' gun, what little I shot it. Noveske 18.5" custom-turned stainless barrel, MUR-1A receiver, 11" Larue handguard, LMT SOPMOD lower with a tuned single-stage trigger (before the days of Geissele). Sub MOA with 75gr SMKs, but I never fired for groups past 200m. It would have done fine.

    The thing is... at just about the time I built this gun in '07 or so, the AR industry was booming big time. The ban had been over for a couple years and people were spending more and more on the new generation of high-end stuff coming out. For the first time ever, you could just order up a sub-MOA combat-ready gun. I did not - I at least specified the barrel profile and assembled the whole thing myself (the lower came pre-assembled, but it's not like I haven't put a hundred lowers together - and I did tune the trigger myself)...

    quality 1/7" twist, quality heavy ammo = sub MOA. done

    Kinda took the fun out of it.

    I sold it after it sat unfired in my safe for a couple years.
     
  6. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Since you want to stick to 5.56, consider a 20" 1/7 -1/9 twist HBAR barrel. Back in the day I could consistently zap a 400 meter silhouette with an A1, provided it wasn't all beat to crap. The A2 came out and was supposed to be a 600-800 meter capable shooter, and although I never got to serve with one in the field, my personal Colt A2 (HBAR) can fling it out to 500-600 meters if I squint real hard. ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
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  7. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts United States Well-Known Member

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    I'm running a 20 inch HBAR 8" twist with 223 Wylde chamber. Using a low-profile gas block and Alexander Arms Mk10 free floating handguard. RRA upper and lower receiver and guts. Standard A2 stock and a Leupold VXR Patrol 3-9x40 30mm scope.

    Bought it to hunt coyotes but became quickly amazed on how easy it rings steel out to 600 yards using 68gr Hornady BTHP and some BL-C(2). I have thought of slumming the 75gr A-Max.
     
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  8. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    With enough practice you can hit 600 yards consistently using an A2 w/ sights.
    Since you want to get expensive, why not try 6.5 Creedmoor? Higher energy, better wind coefficient.
    I'd love to build a 6.5CM myself. The reality of funds vs. wants precludes that....
     
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  9. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    this is with an 18" build....incase you don't have your heart set on a 24 inch

    500 yards- 1-6x scope - 77gr HPBT

    IMG_0111_zps176d2a41.jpg

    IMG_0275_zpsc02c6b46.jpg

    image.jpg

    imagejpg1_zps0c58f669.jpg
     
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  10. rctimmy

    rctimmy Portland, OR Expert Shooter USMC

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    Good group with an 18 inch. Seems I'll be able to get good groups under 20. I used to shoot good groups open site in the Marines at 500 yards with an A2. I may consider an 18-20 inch but really like the look of the long barrel. I think I need to spend some money on optics and ammo over barrel length.
     
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  11. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the optic I used for this is not precision, its a fighting scope so its designed for fastest rounds on target
    IMG_0102_zps18736ce5.jpg


    I think your right on ammo too, this was shot the same day , same rifle ,with some weaker 55gr FMJ that I load just for plinking
    IMG_0117_zpsbc84ad29.jpg

    your conclusion sounds right to me but if I can add one more thing.....Trigger

    a good trigger and disciplined pull is at the top of the food chain for me and long range

    ETA: the barrel is 18" Stainless, 556 chamber, 1:8 twist, Lantac Dragon muzzle device
     
  12. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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  13. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I put this one together last year. Its got a Liberty 20" 223 Wylde with 1/9 twist. Doesn't group 62 grains very well, I probably should have got a 1/7 . SAA upper Anderson lower JP roller trigger ( 3 lb) Diamondhead 15 " guard , JP captured buffer , SAA nickel boron bolt and Harris pod. The longer barrels really pack on the lbs so don't plan on carrying it around much. The ACE Skeleton Buttstock in 9" seems to fit me pretty good without a cheek rest.

    IMG_0170_zpskivqqfky.jpg
     
  14. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    technically you will get better groups with a shorter barrel as long as you can get the velocity to have the energy you want at a given range
    Shorter barrels have less harmonics and are stiffer lending it to be more repeatable and a better grouping barrel.....
    With proper ammo/velocity, an 18" is all you need to be effective 600-800 out, go longer and have more energy....paper puncher no worry, dealing death pay attention to the energy
     
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  15. Portaledgepete

    Portaledgepete Portland, Oregon Active Member

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    Interesting thread, I am starting a long range build. So far I have just aquired my receivers, forearm, and lower kit minus the trigger. The barrel and trigger is where I plan on spending some money to finish the rifle. Then optics...I will keep an eye on this tread, looks like I can learn some good stuff from some you guys.
     
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  16. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    don't discount ammunition, the right load for your barrel is as important as anything......the particular barrel I posted in this thread doesn't group Hornady 75gr match very well, it will group Hornady 55gr FMJ better.
    It groups Nosler better than Sierra....doesn't like Reloader 15 as much as AR-Comp....
    Sky's the limit on this quest , depends on how much your into it, what your goals and expectations are...... like anything the more work you put in the more you get out.....and not just throwing money at gear
     
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  17. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    if your wanting something heavier than 62 may I suggest you try something loaded with 69gr Noser/Sierra. Also you may have luck with something loaded with Hornady 75gr HPBT, they are actually designed with 1:9 in mind although not all 1:9 will stabilize it. I have shot them through a YHM 16" 1:9 with killer results.

    if the 62gr you are shooting are 855/ss109 then the bullet is too long in most cases for 1:9, not all but most. Its not the weight the twist ratio struggles with but it is the length. Because ss109 contains a steel tip it is inherently lighter than lead so in order for the bullet to meet weight it needed to grow in length because growing in diameter is not an option

    69gr match it the usual length cut off for 1:9 , the reason the Hornady 75 works is because Hornady designed the ogive and bearing surface to engage the rifling a lot more positive and in an unconventional location

    all coppers like Barnes and such are another long for weight bullet to watch with your twist

    here is a line up of my current reloads to compare profiles, bases, canalure and such

    left to right
    53gr Barnes TSX all copper
    55gr Hornady SP Flat Base
    55gr Rem FMJ Flat Base
    55gr HDY FMJ Boat Tail
    62gr SS109 steel penitrator
    69gr Nosler CC Hollow Point Boat Tail
    75gr Hornady HPBT Match
    77gr Nosler CC HPBT
    image.jpg
     
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  18. balline36m3

    balline36m3 Yakima WA Active Member

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    My brothers first time shooting my AR a few years ago. Rifle is a rock river varmint eop with 20" heavy Barrel 1/8 twist shooting m855. Can't remember exactly the distance but I think it was 480 yards. It was definitely over 450
    th_04085282.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  19. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    This is mine, Its not super big buck and the goal was a light weight that still would reach out there. Its about 6.5 pounds with the scope no mag or ammo. 20" FN barrel chambered in .223 wyld SRC bolt carrier and bolt. SSA lower, CMC 3.5 lb trigger. Bushnell AR scope in a American defense mount. JP comp.

    It handles and feels really nice. I have only had it together for a few months and so far I have only shot at 200 yards and under but it seems like a winner. It can outshoot me.

    lrar.jpg
     
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  20. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts United States Well-Known Member

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    I will sometimes shoot a load at long range that wasn't the best load at 100 yards just because of the performance expectation of the bullet once it gets to the target. If a 75gr A-Max shoots around 1 inch but a 50gr V-Max groups at 1/2, the 1 inch with the A-Max is just fine given the wind drift and retained energy of the A-Max over the V-Max. Sometimes perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to LR loads.
     
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